Riced broccoli is a quick and delicious way to enjoy this cruciferous veggie. Add plain broccoli rice to other dishes like stir fries, pasta, and grain bowls, or follow the recipe below for a flavorful lemon-garlic version that's so good you'll want to eat a huge bowlful!
Broccoli rice is vegan, allergy-friendly, and can be made without oil. Ready in 15 minutes.
Why You'll LOVE Riced Broccoli
Broccoli rice has received some attention, but it never caught on quite like cauliflower rice did. And honestly, I don't know why!
Maybe some folks are averse to green and trying to make themselves think they're actually eating rice. For me, the bright green color of riced broccoli is much more attractive than pale cauliflower rice.
By pulsing broccoli in a food processor or blender you end up with a really easy way to use a large amount of broccoli and to incorporate it into almost any dish.
Fold it into burritos or marinara, or combine it with rice or grains. Add it to pasta salad for a boost of color and nutrition similar to this Creamy Orzo Salad. The possibilities are endless!
And if you want to enjoy broccoli rice on its own, all it takes is a little garlic and lemon to turn it into a totally fresh and delicious side dish or base for your favorite vegan protein like beans, seitan, tofu, soy curls, or tempeh.
- broccoli - look for fresh, dark green, firm bunches or crowns.
- oil - a small amount of oil enhances the flavor of the sauteed garlic; if you avoid oil simply use a splash of vegetable broth instead.
- lemon zest and juice - both of these can be added "to taste," but you'll probably want at least half of a small lemon on hand.
- garlic - a few cloves of fresh garlic add great flavor to the sauteed broccoli rice.
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes, optional
See recipe card below for quantities and full recipe.
How to Process the Broccoli
To turn the florets and stems into broccoli rice, the process is super easy:
- Trim off thick ends and discard any leaves or woody looking parts of the stem. Cut the broccoli into equal-size florets, and cut the stems into coins. Place the prepared broccoli in a large food processor or a blender. You may want to do this in two batches for the most consitent results.
- Pulse the machine until the broccoli is evenly broken down into bits about the size of rice. If working in batches, dump the riced broccoli into a bowl, and process the remaining florets and pieces.
At this point you can use the riced broccoli in other dishes, or follow the next steps for seasoned broccoli rice that's ready to eat!
Tip: If you notice some larger chunks of stem that didn't get properly chopped, simply place those back in the food processor and pulse a few more times.
How to Cook Broccoli Rice
Sauteing the riced broccoli in a preheated pan takes a few minutes. Truly, it is that quick.
The broccoli rice will turn a gorgeous, bright green, lose some of its natural sulfuric aroma, and still retain its crunch.
- Start by heating two teaspoons of oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, stirring frequently so it doesn't brown.
- Add the riced broccoli to the pan and zest from about half of a small lemon. Stir frequently and cook for about 1 minute or until the broccoli is bright green. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, if desired.
- Squeeze about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice onto the broccoli. Stir well and remove from heat.
Use plain, raw riced broccoli as a substitute for rice in dishes where it will receive a few minutes of cook time. This could be anything from a filling for burritos to fried rice.
And as mentioned above, the seasoned version is so good you'll love it by the spoonful. For a light meal I like to add shredded carrot and some cubed, baked tofu to a bowl of lemony broccoli rice.
- oil - if you avoid using extracted oils in your diet, use several splashes of water or vegetable broth to prevent the garlic from sticking or burning. Be careful not to use too much, though, so your broccoli rice doesn't end up wet.
- onion - saute chopped onion until translucent before adding the garlic to the pan.
- other seasonings - instead of garlic and lemon, try broccoli rice with any of your favorite spice blends. A little kick and warmth from harissa is especially good.
If you don't have either of these, a large knife will be useful to shop the broccoli by hand. And a box grater is a great way to shred the stalks.
How to Store Broccoli Rice
Once the broccoli has been processed I like to either use it right away or freeze it for later. But it can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
If you ever happen to have too much broccoli on hand and know you won't be able to use it before it goes bad, ricing it is a great idea. Then transfer it to an airtight, freezer storage bag or container. With this smaller footprint it's easy to store the broccoli in the freezer until needed.
Don't overcook broccoli rice. Just a couple of minutes of sautéing is all you need to reduce the natural sulfur aroma and enhance the color. The broccoli retains a really nice crispness and texture this way and won't become soft or mushy.
More easy vegetable side dishes:
How to Make Riced Broccoli
- 12 ounces broccoli, about 1 bunch or 2 large crowns
- 2 teaspoons oil, optional - use vegetable broth for oil-free
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ of a lemon
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- black pepper, to taste
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- To "rice" the broccoli, trim off thick ends and discard any leaves or woody looking parts of the stem. Cut the broccoli into equal-size florets, and cut the thick stems into coins.
- Place in a large food processor (I use a 14-cup Cuisinart) or a blender. You may want to do this in two batches. (If you don't have a food processor or blender, use a large knife to finely chop the broccoli into "rice.") Pulse the food processor or blender until the broccoli is evenly broken down into bits about the size of rice. For me this usually takes about 12 pulses.
- At this point you can use the riced broccoli in other dishes, like stir fries or veggie sautes. Or follow the next steps for seasoned broccoli rice that's flavorful and ready to eat.
- Preheat a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the oil, if using, and the garlic. To saute without oil, add a few splashes of vegetable broth (make sure all broth has evaporated before you add the broccoli to the pan). Stir frequently and cook the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the riced broccoli to the pan and stir to distribute the garlic flavor. Zest about half of a lemon, or a little less, into the pan and stir to combine. Stirring frequently, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green.
- Squeeze 1 tablespoon of lemon juice onto the broccoli. Stir well and taste for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, and lemon if desired. Serve immediately.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.